Is religion limping on by hearsay?

Ralavik
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Is religion limping on by hearsay?

My questions are these-  Are the Bible's messages mainly being cherry picked from sermons, from popular quotes, or from media? How many Christains have actually read the Bible? Is religion now more than ever being passed on by word of mouth than the actual reading of the "holy" book?

 

Do you think this is partly the reason that we cannot pin them on any of the black spots in the Bible, like say stoning homosexuals? In the end they don't ever hear about these particular passages in sermons, or the media, so they blank it out, like it was never written in there in the first place, only concentrating on the good of the book.

 

I think that to know the answers to these questions would prove to be interesting.


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Quote:Is religion now more

Quote:

Is religion now more than ever being passed on by word of mouth than the actual reading of the "holy" book?

No. Christianity managed to get on for a good five centuries at least between the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the publishing of the Gutenberg Bible. During that time, the Latin Bible wasn't even available to the common man to read. Entire countries couldn't possibly read the Bible for themselves, save the clergy.

So, while today it may be returning to a similar situation out of convenience and sloth, there were points where fewer members of congregations read the Bible for themselves.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


Hambydammit
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Quote:My questions are

Quote:
My questions are these-  Are the Bible's messages mainly being cherry picked from sermons, from popular quotes, or from media? How many Christains have actually read the Bible? Is religion now more than ever being passed on by word of mouth than the actual reading of the "holy" book?

When you consider how much of Christian history was before the common availability of the printing press, you realize that the vast majority of all Christians (ever!) have gotten their information by word of mouth.

Quote:
Do you think this is partly the reason that we cannot pin them on any of the black spots in the Bible, like say stoning homosexuals? In the end they don't ever hear about these particular passages in sermons, or the media, so they blank it out, like it was never written in there in the first place, only concentrating on the good of the book.

It's surely part of the reason.  However, it's bigger than that.  Even Christians who have read it cover to cover multiple times can rationalize nearly anything in it, no matter how contradictory.  I think the two main reasons for this are:

1) Doublethink.  If you haven't read 1984, read it.  Today.  There's no excuse for anyone to not read it.  Doublethink is too important a concept to try to explain in a thread, but the basic idea is that you can believe two contradictory things so long as they come from the right authority.

2) Vague language and "interpretation."  No matter what you say to most Christians, they will insist that any apparent contradiction in the bible is due to mis-interpretation.  "If you had the spirit of god in you, you'd understand it for its deeper symbolic meaning."  Of course, this is a crock.  It's double talk for "I don't know how to explain it to you, so I'm going to invoke a deep symbolism that you can't understand unless you're in my club.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Ralavik
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Is religion limping on by hearsay?

My questions are these-  Are the Bible's messages mainly being cherry picked from sermons, from popular quotes, or from media? How many Christains have actually read the Bible? Is religion now more than ever being passed on by word of mouth than the actual reading of the "holy" book?

 

Do you think this is partly the reason that we cannot pin them on any of the black spots in the Bible, like say stoning homosexuals? In the end they don't ever hear about these particular passages in sermons, or the media, so they blank it out, like it was never written in there in the first place, only concentrating on the good of the book.

 

I think that to know the answers to these questions would prove to be interesting.

{MOD EDIT: For whatever reason, this got posted twice.  I simply merged the two threads.}


Ralavik
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Sorry for double posting, I

Sorry for double posting, I would delete if I could find an edit button...

 

Edit- hmm, weird I can edit this post but not my previous ones


Hambydammit
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It's a quirky bulletin

It's a quirky bulletin board.  (Freeware generally is.)  The thing is, you can edit your last comment until someone else responds to it.  The idea is you can change it until someone responds, but after that, you could be all sneaky and change it to try to make your responder look stupid.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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anniet
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My personal experience

My personal experience says they really read the bible.  I was raised fundamentalist.  We went to church on Saturday, followed OT dietary laws, had OT Holy Days instead of Christman and Easter, etc.  9 times out of 10 when I've mentioned these things are in the bible to mainstream christians they're reaction is "Really?  You're kidding."  My brother-in-law has worked for several churches over the years.  Both he and my sister get so mad because the congregations are usually ignorant of the bible and not "serious" christians.  They think congregation members should be theologians and are not happy that the majority really don't care.  (Keep in mind that this is just anecdotal evidence though. )

Hamby makes a good point - this is not a new situation. 

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


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Simple , the basic truth of

Simple, the basic truth of the bible of contradictions is have no god before you but me, but who is me?, moses the OT, .... and as I am god, as jesus said, the NT   

   ... next book please ... bible lesson over. Today the gospel, the "good word", is science.


anniet
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anniet wrote:My personal

anniet wrote:

My personal experience says they DON'T really read the bible.  I was raised fundamentalist.  We went to church on Saturday, followed OT dietary laws, had OT Holy Days instead of Christman and Easter, etc.  9 times out of 10 when I've mentioned these things are in the bible to mainstream christians they're reaction is "Really?  You're kidding."  My brother-in-law has worked for several churches over the years.  Both he and my sister get so mad because the congregations are usually ignorant of the bible and not "serious" christians.  They think congregation members should be theologians and are not happy that the majority really don't care.  (Keep in mind that this is just anecdotal evidence though. )

Hamby makes a good point - this is not a new situation. 

EDIT: This should read don't.  I've really got to start double checking what I write much more closely. 

"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.


patcleaver
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The Bible is just written

The Bible is just written hearsay. How is it different than people passing on ignorant rumors?

If the author of Mark was writing fiction and Luke and Matthew copied most of Mark, and John harmonizes contradictions between Luke and Matthew, then its all fiction. There is no reason to think that any of the epistles attributed to Paul have anything to do with the Jesus of Nazareth of the Gospel or that they were written before the 4th century. Why are fictional accounts written hundreds of years later any better then any other bullshit that someone makes up?

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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People like bullshit ....

People like bullshit ....


davec
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At the time the Gutenburg

At the time the Gutenburg bible was printed the overwhelming majority of the people were illiterate.

It wasn't until the 18th century in Europe that there was a big increase in commoners being able to read, let alone write. Interestingly, this coincides with the decline of the power of the church and the rise of liberalism/individualism, in some places reading at home was considered dangerously subversive.

 

I would hazard a guess that today a scary proportion of people in the west haven't read a factual book since they left school Sad


Conor Wilson
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Part of the problem may be...

...that many people simply want Christianity to be true, whether or not it actually is.  I certainly fell into this category.  What I would (then) do is read apologetic material voraciously until I found the answer that I was looking for--which means, the answer that allowed me to continue untroubled by problems that I saw.  Sometimes you just can't get past someone's desire for "truth," ...that is, not until they change their minds and let you in.

 

Conor


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no, of course not. 

no, of course not.

 


RatDog
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From my own personal experience

    From my own personal experience when I was Christian most Christians do read the bible, or at least at my church they were encouraged to.  The answer to how Christian can read the bible while ignore inconsistencies and parts of it like stoning homosexuals involves a massive amounts of rationalization. 
    For example there were lots of stories in the Old Testament about stoning people for various reasons.  At church this brutality was explained away as the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  I’m not sure I can remember the explanation to well, but I think it was something like this.  In the Old Testament god was vengeful because he couldn’t forgive us for our sins because Jesus hadn’t died for us yet.  When Jesus came everything became different.  It’s still a sin to do all the things that they talked about in the Old Testament, but god no longer wants us to stone people. 
    They have some sort of rationalization for everything.  It’s more than just one person rationalizing, it is whole groups rationalizing.  You go to groups called Bible Study  were you read the bible together, and give you interpretation of different passages, sentences, and sometimes even individual words.  If you interpretation is close enough to what is expected everyone in the group praises you, but if it’s to far from the ‘correct’ answer the pasture or whoever is leading the group will gently correct you until you get it ‘right’.
    Church services are much less detailed in how the help you to interpret the bible ‘correctly’.  Generally they only go over a few specific verses each service, and what those verses mean in regards to how you should live you life ‘the way god wants you to’.  You are encourage to read the bible at home, and of course there will always be some one at the church available should you need help understand what ‘god is trying to teach you’.  This is what they mean when they talk about being guided by holly spirit.
    This is just my own personal experience with religion.  I don’t know if this all churches are like this, plus this was along time ago so I may have forgotten things.  I hope this is still some use to you in answering you question.   
 


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Well, Ratdog, I can

Well, Ratdog, I can tell that your last church was very different from mine. We were not allowed to read the bible pretty much at all, at least not on our own. Eternal salvation is much too important a thing to risk the possibility of reading something that confuses a person and possibly leads them into thinking or doing wrong things.

 

Mind you, this was a Calvinist denomination, so at least in theory, if you have been dunked three times, you are automatically in heaven. Even if you turn your back on the church and return to your sinful lifestyle – heck but they have a term for people like that: “carnal christians” are people who are going to heaven no matter how bad they are later on, due to the fact that they have irrevocably become christian in the first place.

 

One relevant bit that I remember was that I had to get a haircut and a shave before I could get dunked. After all, despite being a 20 year old guy at the time, everyone knows that good people have short neatly trimmed hair, no facial hair and they always wear white shirts with narrow black ties.

 

So I asked pastor why jesus did not look like that. His reply was that “those are just paintings” with it left unstated that that is how nice people have dressed for thousands of years (or something). To support this, I was called aside and shown an actual page out of the bible and pointed to a verse that said something about men cutting their hair. Once I had that one sentence in me, the bible was slammed shut and whisked away before I could see what page it was open to. After all, if I knew the context of the passage, I might get one of those annoying confusions about matters that might threaten my soul (or something).

 

Also, despite 2,000 years of people getting dunked in the nearest river, on the very day, we were taken to the men's locker room in the basement of the church so that we could change into special magical blue bathing suits. I honestly have no idea what was up with that.

 

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 My present experience with

 My present experience with southern folk(south carolina) is mixed;Half the people have read the whole bible and basically say that god owns you(no shit) and he can do whatever he wants(sic), and the other half go what? when I bring up all the killing and the blood and the slavery and the sweet savour to the lord stuff.

Eden had a 25% murder rate and incest was rampant.